I just got back from a week vacation in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. It was so great that I’m tempted to pick up shop and leave the country for good. I just need to get my passport renewed first. :)
Being a woman in Nica was a sharp contrast to being a woman in Seattle. There are of course a couple caveats. I don’t speak Spanish, I’m caucasian as the day is long, and I wasn’t there long enough to get integrated into the culture in any way. Also, I have a tendency to be shy in new situations. So, I didn’t really take Nica by the horns. In fact, I never walked around by myself AT ALL. Lucky for me, I had the best host a gal could hope for, and I wanted for naught.
Me and my fellow went to the beach every day. EVERY DAY!! We’re birds of a feather and there was no where either of us would rather be. I’ve been learning to surf for the past few years and this vacation sped me up considerably. Fear is a four letter word, people, and I am scared of big waves. The ocean is one powerful mother and I knew she could chew me up and spit me out if she deemed appropriate. Thus, I approached surfing with a mix of reverence and reticence.
So, it’s hot as fuck in Nicaragua. This had many upsides, actually. Forced relaxation, slower paced lifestyle, frequent mango inhalation, and everybody’s trying to keep cool with their clothing at all times. Interestingly, I didn’t feel like I stood out in Nica. I didn’t feel excessively noticed or gawked at and I loved it. I mean, I constantly discuss on this blog how I dislike being engaged on the street about my tattoos, so that’s not news. And in Nica, only one person asked me about them and it was just her angle to try and sell me a bracelet. I might just have to move there so I can live as a person among people instead of being the Tattoo Representative that I am in the US.
I spent a nice evening last night hanging out with some of my oldest friends, Catie and Sarah, (they’re sisters!) discussing my trip and their current goings-on. Catie had a friend over who I hadn’t met before and we were all chatting and eating snacks. Sarah, (who has multiple large forearm tattoos) asked me about different tattoo shops I liked in Seattle and I weighed in on my favs. This opened up the topic and Catie’s friend jumped in and wanted to talk about MY tattoos. And ya know what, I didn’t want to talk about them with her. She had a way of fetishizing me with how she asked about them and the way she fawned over them that I felt very bristled by. Then she posed a classic question, “So, do they all have special significance to you?”
Why do people ask this? Are they trying to understand our psyches? Are they trying to separate us from them by making us into people who feel things so deeply that we must mark ourselves with our life histories? People who live life so fully? Tattoo Representatives.
Sarah’s response to the same questions is, “I like art.” I think I’m going to adopt her phrase.
home away from home
i found out i’m a hat person